James Spader has been cast as Ultron, the main villain in the upcoming Avengers sequel.
The news has elicited an overall positive reaction. Spader typically plays a great bad guy, and his performance could help squelch any uproar arising from director Joss Whedon’s decision to change the robot’s origin.
A few questions remain. Will Spader only voice Ultron? Or will he get in on the action via motion capture like Mark Ruffalo does for the Hulk? It’s unlikely that Whedon would have the actor physically embody the villain, but he has mentioned wanting to humanize the character.
“I knew right away what I wanted to do with him,” said Whedon during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. “He’s always trying to destroy the Avengers—he’s got a bee in his bonnet. He’s not a happy guy, which means he’s an interesting guy. He’s got pain. And the way that manifests is not going to be standard robot stuff. So we’ll take away some of those powers, because at some point everybody becomes magic, and I already have someone who’s a witch.”
Before Age of Ultron hits theaters, Spader will get some practice playing the bad guy in the upcoming NBC drama Blacklist, in which he plays a criminal mastermind who turns himself in to the FBI and jerks the agency around with his list of demands.
The Blacklist premiers on Sept. 23. Age of Ultron will hit theaters on May 1, 2015.